Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 30 August 2012
Released on DVD and reviewed as part of KOFFIA 2012
The latest Korean romantic comedy, “All About My Wife” goes beyond Hollywood to remake Argentinean film “A Boyfriend for My Wife”) is surprisingly fresh, funny and filled with fine performances all-round. A feel good heart-warmer…
I am pretty cynical when it comes to romantic comedies and in particular the formulaic ones arising like waves from South Korea. However, there is a lot to like about director Min Kyu-dong’s (“Memento Mori”) latest attempt at the crowded genre. “All About My Wife” is as much a light hearted comedy, as well as a look into how different people deal with relationship issues after being married for 7 years. Hiring someone to flirt and woo your wife, so that you can divorce her is nothing new, but director Min Kyu-dong make use of hilariously written dialogue, funny facial expressions and plenty of laugh out loud moments to make this truly a funny experience.
Im Soo-jung (“I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK”) starred as the fast talking wife who always complain about everything that her husband is doing. Soo-jung is the central to the film and shines in particular in scenes that require her more dramatic range. Her fast talking and likable personality makes her a winner with the audience in the film. Her chemistry and dialogue exchanges with her husband (played by Lee Seon-gyun), is filled with obvious comical domestic moments. Lee Seon-gyun (“Love, So Divine”) is like a rock for the film and the way he overacts and reacts to the camera adds to the fun and humour. His portrayal of a husband is tired of a long term relationship is both believable and relatable. Of the trio, Ryoo Seung-ryong (“The Frontline” and “War of the Arrows”) who plays the role of Casanova Seong-ki, simply outshines everyone. As usual his performance is both versatile and stands out of the pack. In an against the usual type performance, Seung-ryong is able to play a happy go lucky play boy who just can’t stop attracting women. The manner in which he attempts to seduce Soo-jung through the use of Wong Kar Wai’s “Days of Being Wild” is both funny and fitting. In many ways, Seung-ryong is a highlight of the film and his presence is always a welcome to endure.
All in all, “All About My Wife” is not a perfect film, nor is it one of the most original romantic comedies around, but there is something about it that makes you want to keep watching, rooting for the outcomes, laughing with the characters and somewhat touching towards the end. In many ways, it is the kind of film that put a light hearted smile on your face and makes you feel good about what you have just witnessed. In all honesty, South Korean cinema makes so many romantic comedies that it has almost become indistinguishable, but director Min Kyu-dong has created a crowd pleasing, fun, light hearted romantic comedy that also have something to say about modern urban romance. (Neo 2012)
I rate it 7.5/10